Ministry of defence carves out 100 new jobs in pumping £22m into new satellite
The UK’s ministry of defence has commissioned a new £22m satellite, which is expected to create around 100 new jobs.
The satellite, built as part of the £127m science and technology programme Minerva, will be the first in a network of new satellites to support military operations.
The three-year contract with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) will see the firm design and manufacture the 150kg satellite – which will eventually act as the building blocks of the UK’s Defence Space intelligence.
“The Minerva programme provides the route to use space to be fully interoperable and able to share data with our close allies,” explained defence procurement minister Jeremy Quin.
“This is the crucial first step in delivering this capability and I’m delighted that we’re working together with UK companies to remain at the forefront of innovation in space,” he said in a statement.
The Minerva programme’s findings are set to underpin the £970m ISTARI programme, within the UK’s space defence strategy, which works towards a next-generation constellation of low orbit satellites that allow for Earth observation.
“We are delighted that Space Command has signed with SSTL for a Carbonite+ satellite, and we are looking forward to working together on this pivotal mission for the UK,” SSTL managing director Phil Brownett said.
“We have established an excellent relationship with Space Command and by working closely together we have evolved and enhanced our Carbonite+ spacecraft design for the programme.”